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 Let's Hope "Bobby" Doesn' Find Out About … 
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:43 pm 
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Guest Column: Have law-abiding citizens lost their constitutional rights?

Published: Sunday, August 29, 2010

Times Guest Columnist

This incessant drumbeat, testing not just the will and knowledge of our people but also probing for a weakness in our constitutional guarantees, is really getting old.

In all likelihood, a successful usurpation of our constitutional rights continues to be thwarted by the word “inalienable.” Its definition resembles a traffic light stuck on red to those who would whimsically revise our blessings at birth.

Thomas Jefferson said it best in our Declaration of Independence when laying the foundation to our freedom with the words, “endowed by their Creator” (for emphasis, a capital C), “with certain inalienable rights …”

This distinction acknowledges that our individual rights, of which our Second Amendment is certainly one, are rights inherited at birth from our “Creator.” As such, they are above the corruptive machinery which is so characteristic of big government. Or, as Jefferson termed, above “the mischief of man.” This is the lesson to be studied by those so intent upon altering and ultimately erasing our blessings of freedom.

Apparently, from reading the Web site version of the Daily Times, a state representative by the name of Bryan Lentz follows such an unconstitutional path. While based upon that insidious justification of “good intentions,” it nevertheless is just part of a piecemeal attack designed to culminate with the eventual elimination of our Second Amendment rights. So, I feel compelled to add my two cents from far away Florida since I, too, experienced this unconstitutional abridgement of my rights as a longtime resident of Delaware County.

After carrying a duly licensed weapons permit for five years, I was notified that a renewal application was required. To make a long story short, I was denied my renewal based upon a conviction for “drag racing” in 1968. From April 1995 until April 3, 2000, I was legally licensed to carry a firearm.

Following my denial challenge in Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania State Police mailed a letter dated July 13, 2000, that stated, and I quote, “the decision to deny your request is upheld based upon your conviction in 1968 to VC1041, Drag Racing, defined as a misdemeanor offense, and punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of three years.”

Insultingly, the following sentence was underlined. It informed me that, “Please be advised that regardless of any penalty that you may have received, this decision is based on the maximum penalty you could have received for this offense(s).”

Now, in 2010, all I have to say about this ruling is, “Are you kidding me?” Number one, traffic violations incurring “points” start reducing after one year. Secondly, insurance rates return to normal amounts after five years. Finally, traffic violations are to be expunged from one’s record after seven years.

This denial occurred 32 years after the violation. In addition, since when is a denial to an inalienable right based not upon punishment but what could have been the punishment?

Ten years have passed since my challenge in Harrisburg. I am well into my 60s with only one speeding ticket to my name during that span of time. Prior to my drag racing escapade, I was issued and was qualified with weapons during my two years as a military policeman in the U.S. Army.

Apparently, U.S. Rep. Lentz, D-161, of Swarthmore, places higher value upon the voter appeal aspect verses constitutional guarantees when voicing those anti-gun/anti-carry words. The Times article informed its readers that “Pennsylvania residents who are not eligible for a permit to carry a concealed weapon” are now being targeted since they obtained (legal) permission from another state to do so. Instead of viewing it as a threat, could it be a citizen’s legal option to an abusive law?

I think that the lawmaker from Swarthmore ought to concern himself more with the out-of-control state budget than his targeting of law-abiding citizens who seek self protection.

One other suggestion, if I may. Barring a lawful citizen from exercising his or her inalienable right of self protection, based upon a “could of,” is a crime far worse than the misdemeanor which was originally cited.

Finally, it remains our constitutional duty as law-abiding American citizens to resist illegal and/or immoral laws such as House Bill 2536. Maybe Rep. Lentz should familiarize himself with the proper exercise of authority rather than pandering to the vote. Just another suggestion from far away.

Jim Bowman is a resident of Ormond Beach, Fla.

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